Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged Homophobia

March 24, 2009 -

U.K. newspaper Telegraph reports that a veteran graphics designer employed by the Xbox side of Microsoft's house has sued the company for £45,000.

Jamie Durrant, 38, claims in the suit that he was harassed for an extended period by coworkers who indulged in name calling and nasty notes. Durrant worked with Lionhead for more than a decade until MS acquired the Peter Molyneux studio in 2006. His design credits include AAA titles Fable, Black & White and The Movies.

The Telegraph also notes that Xbox has seemingly had difficulty coming to grips with Xbox Live users who self-identify as gay.

Of his situation, Durrant told the newspaper:

I have never hidden my sexuality from the office and I felt this could be targeted at myself. This was not the first time there was homophobic content in the office. Previously, I had tried to deal with it myself. This time, I did not feel that I could.

I was very surprised that Microsoft did not have any policies relating to this sexual orientation harassment... I feel like they're making out that I'm the one with the problem and not the homophobic aspects of the company.

Durrant's situation notwithstanding, Microsoft earned a perfect score from U.S.-based gays rights group the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in 2008.


Comments

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

No sympathy from me on this one.

Homo or Hetero, there is no point to parading your sexuality around unless you want the attention.

Your sexuality is a private matter between you and your partner, keep it that way.

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

Oh bohoo they hurt his feelings, that is no reason to ask for 90 grand, people really need to mature up, Stupid way to sue you have a problem you deal with it, not sue like a little girl.

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

...

Did you even read the Telegraph's article?

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged Homophobia

Well, first of all, the idea that there should be special policies regarding sexual orientation harrasment is laughable. Harrasment is harrasment, period, regardless of the reason.

Secondly, a lot of the time people are just ignorant, assuming this guy told the people in question how they were making him feel then he has a right to complain, but you can't just slide through life with a polite smile on your face, not telling others where the line is in terms of how they treat you. I'm assuming this guy made the effort, though, he seems thoughtful and intelligent enough to know this kind of thing.

Nobody should be picking on anyone, and quite frankly I hope this guy wins his lawsuit.

Lastly, XBOX Live has a good policy, as far as I'm concerned. I don't think anyone should ever use their gender or orientation as an identity, it's silly and unhealthy. People are complex, and who you like to sleep with has little to nothing to do with who you are. I think this idea that somehow it's a point of pride to have your sexual orientation in your handle is outdated. Just be a person.

The assholes on XBOX live who can't seem to get a grip on the fact that there are people in the world who are gay, and that they play video games are going to have to deal, but jamming it in their faces isn't going to make it any easier or happen any faster. Nobody's saying that one should hide anything about themselves, including their orientation, but seriously... having it in your handle is a bit like wearing one of those "Hello, my name is..." stickers on your sweater and writing "Big Gay Jim - I'm homosexual" in the white box.

Nobody needs to know, and aside from the dickheads who think that's an excuse to pick on you, nobody cares.

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

But on the same token, as long as you aren't ADVERTISING your sexuality, it shouldn't matter if it's on your profile. It is inherently offensive because it says lesbian either. At the very least, they should review her profile and force her to make changes, not BAN her from something she's paying for.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

That situation made me think that she was banned as a result of an automated process, and MS tried to cover their ass.

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

Alas, after the obvious Homophobia displayed by Microsoft on X-Box live, this doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

"Hey, want to go down to the pub after work? There's some sexy ladies there on Thursday nights!"

"Well, I'd like to go to the pub. But you know I'm gay, right?"

"What? You're a fag!?"

No, seriously. I overheard this conversation once.

The Honest Game - http://www.thehonestgame.org

The Honest Game - http://www.thehonestgame.org

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

oh lawd i lol'd

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

"I feel like they're making out that I'm the one with the problem and not the homophobic aspects of the company."

This is typically how society works.  Many times, society will judge the reasons for abuse, then decide if the abuse victims deserves it (hence, is the bad one and to blame for the abuse) or if the attacker is in the wrong. 

If the reason for the abuse is preceived as justifiable, then it's the victim who is labeled as anti-social, even though the very act of abuse itself is anti-social and the act of a sociopath.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

He got clinical depression from some name-calling and some harrassing emails...if that's not anti-social/overthetop...

I mean, feeling down is one thing, but 7 months of DEPRESSION?

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

You have never worked in a truely hostile enviroment, have you?

Being cliqued out alone is enough to mess most people up pschologically, but they tend to assume that it wouldnt' because it has either never happened to them or they only think it has.  Those tend to be the worst since they develope a "I delt with it, so can everyone else!" when they never actually delt with what they think they did.

Harrassment, lack of support, and a hostile enviroment can really screw someone up pretty badly.  8-10 hours a day of such an enviroment for years at a time?  Depressing is one of the lighter results.  Neverous breakdowns, anxiaty, or suicide are pretty common in such situations.  And such people can end up perminatly damaged.

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

If he worked on Fable and some other great games, I'm sure there are other companies that would gladly take him under if Microsoft is being a bitch. I'd hire him, if he was good, hopefully some of the pent up emotion could translate into something very well in a game.

 

And...I hate to admit it...but you're right. I don't know what it's like to be harrassed for an extended period at work to the extent that he had, but at the same time, I'm wondering whether it was a couple co-workers or a large part of the workforce there? Because there are a few people at my work (I'm a lifeguard) that make fun of me all the time and I just shrug it off. Then again, I'm a lot more...robust than other people. Instead of getting sad, I get vengeful. hehe. Just the way that my brain is wired. Eye-for-an-eye and Don't-take-any-crap-from-anybody is how I deal with those types of people, so to have someone get sad just seems odd to me. *Shrug*

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

 Huh. I would have expected better from Lionhead, considering how incredibly neutral the Fable series' position on sexuality is.

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged Homophobia

How does sexual orientation even come up in a proffessional workplace? It shouldn't even be relevant unless you make it relevant then in which case that is really unprofessional.

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

 Well it can come up in casual conversation with your friends; kinda like how a heterosexual guy might casually talk about girls or something... and just because you are talking to your friend, doesn't mean the homophobe walking by or sitting across from you can't hear you. 

In that kind of situation, you'd have to say that ALL casual conversation would be considered unprofessional... not to mention that since he was working there for 11 years, i think people would eventually catch on... especially if they got suspicious enough to actually out right ask if they were gay, and they guy just casually replies "yes"... considering he worked on fable and what you could do in fable, it could have easily come up

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

I was going to write a paragraph or two disagreeing with you and stuff, but then I read the actual article.

 

Though I'm not quite sure that suing Microsoft is the answer (and I don't know UK laws concerning rights in the workplace), I agree that he's got some pretty shitty co-workers that should be fired.

But, clinical depression over it? Seriously? What a fruit...

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

As for the lesbian live gamer, I understand that they don't want to have anything of any nature like that sexually oriented on xbox live because of "live child predators", which is really just an over reaction to messed up parents that dont think their 14 year old should walk off of their property to a friend's house just down the street without parental supervision.  ---  But they should have let her know that that was their policy since it isn't really outlined that well.

"He has been signed off sick for depression for seven months and is demanding £45,000 in compensation for lost earnings and injury to feelings"

I really think this guy just wants to sue.  Clinical depression because of that?  Yeah, people are already sue happy here in the US, so I bet MS decides to not let this go far from their experiences here. I am surprised to see something like this get that far over there.

Here are the possible situations I see:

1. He just wants to sue and created and environment where he was joking around about it, then turned it serious so he could sue.

2. His initial complaint didn't have any contents that were severe enough to be a complaint worth filing, and he was just over reacting.

3. He didn't follow through with some other part of the HR reporting process to get things moving faster that he should have.

4. He never let these people know these types of comments were appreciated by him, and he would wish for them to stop. (Most people could tell that to someone close to them at work, and that person would normally let others know when they say something.)

5. He is overly sensitive, and needs to take a joke.  Basic psychological help on his perspective would be all the help he should need unless he does have more serious problems.

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

Yeah, those were my thoughts too. He "could" be very sensitive and in THAT horrible of a place, but the odds of that seem a little low. He probably just wants to spite MS for doing nothing about something little, or just wants money. Or didn't take the necessary steps to fix the problem, just simmered on the inside about it.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

Cool. I hope that this brings more attention to MS's retarded Live policies.

Because we always have to protect those poor homophobes...

--------------------------------------------------------

Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

Given what I have heard about Microsoft, I wonder exactly what criteria the Human Rights Campaign Foundation uses, and if they consider behavior outside the US.

It would not be the first time that a company is 'sensitive' within the boarders of a country that cares about something but completely drops the effort in other countries where they will recieve less bad press.

Companies tend to act in self-interest, and thus only implement costly tollerance schemes in regions where they get a good PR benifit from them.  In other areas, keeping your homophobic employies happy at the expense of a small percentage of your workforce makes more economic sense.

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

Everybody acts in their own self-interest, period.

Re: Xbox 360 Graphics Designer Sues MS Over Alleged ...

Maybe this explains Xbox Live...

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will we ever get Half-Life 3?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
james_fudgeprh99: Whether you agree with the article or not, fighting alleged censorship with censorship is hella lame10/02/2014 - 4:27am
james_fudgewhoever made that decision at Intel will regret it later on down the road. Boycotts are tricky business.10/02/2014 - 4:26am
prh99The unflattering characterization "They don’t know how to dress or behave." & "‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction..." probably didn't help.10/02/2014 - 1:52am
prh99Probably not many as it was purely a vindictive move. The headline alone was plenty of ammo, but for those that did read and complain..10/02/2014 - 1:42am
Andrew EisenI wonder how many of those who complain about that article actually read past the headline.10/02/2014 - 1:37am
prh99http://intel.ly/1tjh1AH http://bit.ly/1rGPHOY http://intel.ly/Zu6go9 it isn't surprising "Gamers are over" didn't go over very well.10/02/2014 - 1:34am
Papa MidnightCan you parlay that to #WriteAGawkerArticle? The cesspool of horrid crap over there extends far beyond Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 12:34am
Andrew EisenWow! Intel dropped Gamasutra due to GameJournoPros? Over Matt Matthews? The only Gamasutra guy in the group? Who hasn't written a single thing about #GamerGate at the site? Where did you read that?10/02/2014 - 12:32am
Neo_DrKefka#WriteAKotakuArticle "#GamerGate is responsible for breaking millions of Intel powered macbooks after angry SWJ hipsters slam them shut" or "How Toxic Processors from Intel causes sexism. "10/02/2014 - 12:15am
Neo_DrKefkaSo Intel has dropped Gamesutra due to there support of your Gaming News Cabal Fudge. Anti GamerGate article soon? Or like your e-mails are you hoping this narrative dies down soon?10/02/2014 - 12:14am
Andrew EisenWell, time to eat some dinner and work on the Hyrule Warriors guide until bedtime!10/02/2014 - 12:11am
Andrew EisenJust finished my stream. That... could have gone better. Technical issues prevented me from playing a console game so I instead played and bitched about The Walking Dead for two hours. Oh well, the folks watching still seemed to enjoy it.10/02/2014 - 12:09am
Matthew Wilsonwe all know valve can not cout to 3.10/02/2014 - 12:08am
MechaTama31Who cares? Gimme Portal 3!10/01/2014 - 9:38pm
quiknkoldAndrew : Mostly I decided there were better people who could explain what was going on, or fight any battles that may come up. so I decided not to talk about it anymore.10/01/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenI don't recall you promising that. GamerGate is not a taboo discussion here. Anyway, thanks for the link. Very interesting.10/01/2014 - 8:47pm
quiknkoldI know I promised to not talk about Gamergate again, but Intel just pulled sponsership from Gamasutra over it http://techraptor.net/2014/10/01/gamasutra-intel/10/01/2014 - 8:40pm
quiknkoldP.T. is a game I just cannot play alone. I puss out hard on it. need somebody with me when I play that. Kojima was right. it is Pants Shittingly Scary10/01/2014 - 6:17pm
quiknkold@james_fudge not playin all the way through. P.T, Silent Hill(Not sure which), Resident Evil Gamecube Remake, Alien Isolation, Ghostbusters, Outlast, Super Castlevania 410/01/2014 - 6:04pm
james_fudgeI wish I could like that last shout.10/01/2014 - 5:48pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician